How many people went to the polls for the 2018 election in West Virginia, believing they were registered to vote — only to be told there was no record of them — is not known. Some complained, however, so Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office was made aware of the fiasco.
Don’t blame him. Blame the state Department of Motor Vehicles. All of the people who reported being told there was no record of them on voter registration rolls had signed up at DMV offices. The information was not forwarded to election officials.
Now, DMV officials say they believe the problem has been corrected, The Register-Herald of Beckley reports.
Exactly what went wrong is unclear. One DMV official, testifying before legislators, blamed an old mainframe computer. Another has said a programming change has corrected the situation. Testing to ensure that is so continues.
Warner and others in his office want proof the error will not occur again. Good for them. They should insist the DMV get it right.
High-technology devices have given human beings one more scapegoat. Don’t blame us — it was the computer! Sometimes, that is true.
But there is enough talk about “voter suppression” and election manipulation that here in West Virginia, we have to get it right, one way or another. Unless the DMV can provide assurances the voter registration system works, it might be better to suspend it to guard against another meltdown during the 2020 elections.